Today marks the first in our Meet the Makers series, where we profile a Cheerfully Given seller for your enjoyment. Keep an eye out for a new interview each Monday!
Originally from the north of London, Bethany got married last year (and had the most incredibly DIY wedding you’ve ever seen!) and is now based in Liverpool. When Bethany isn't running More Than Gold Designs, she’s a freelance designer, and is available for design work as well as bespoke wedding stationery.
More Than Gold Designs currently has two ranges, each featuring a liberal use of gold foil: a Christian greeting card range called The Edna May Collection, and a range of A4 Bible verse prints called The Creation Collection.
Bethany has designed and produced these ranges to be as luxurious as possible while keeping the Word of God front and centre. Each product is printed onto thick, textured cardstock by a professional UK printmaker specialising in gold foil, and is then lovingly packaged by Bethany from her home studio
People LOVE receiving Bethany’s parcels, and we’re always seeing Instagram shots of her happy customers – her thank you notes are particularly special!
We asked Bethany a few questions about her and her business, so make yourself a cuppa and get to know her a little better with us.
Meet the Makers: Bethany of More Than Gold Designs
There are lots of people graduating at the minute. What did you study at university?
I did a Fashion Studies degree at the Arts University Bournemouth. In my final year, I specialised in print and pattern design and created a whole bedroom full of my digitally printed textiles, from the duvet cover to the padded coat hangers, to the laundry bag. It was a lot of hard work!
Why did you decide to set up your own business?
After a lot of positive feedback from my final project at university, I decided to carry on with print and pattern design after I graduated. I released two collections of cards, notebooks, mirrors, cushions and tea towels under the Betty Charlie brand. I absolutely loved the design process but found there was such a huge market for secular stationery that it was hard to find a way in.
A crucial moment in my process was at the ‘Momentum’ summer festival in 2014. I had been praying for a while that God would guide me as to how I could develop my business further and actually make it successful. I started to have all these pictures in my head of Bible verses hand-lettered using cross stitch, which I knew was from God.
I didn’t stick with these visions but I was so excited to think of some fresh ideas, so I spent the next year working on designs and researching into it all – there wasn’t a big Christian gift market in the UK at the time. A year later, in 2015, my business and first collection – a range of Christian greeting cards – went live!
What do you take inspiration from?
My inspiration comes mainly from things collected from the past. I have hundreds of trinkets and treasures that used to be my Nanny’s, as well as loads of old photo albums and cameras. I love incorporating old things with the new, for example my first range of cards ‘The Edna May Collection’ is inspired by one of my Nanny’s silk scarves, which I paired with modern brush lettering. I just love how they work together!
Can you describe your designing/working process, what materials do you use?
I use various brush and modern calligraphy pens, paintbrushes, inks and paints. I do most of the design process by hand and then scan in the individual parts so I can put them together using software on my iMac.
What has been the biggest challenge for you so far?
The biggest challenge has probably been trying to balance my timings. I launched More Than Gold Designs at the end of 2015, but 2016 was almost a total wipeout. My sister and I both got engaged within a few months of launching my business, so I spent most of the 2016 planning (and DIYing!) both weddings, and then relocating to Liverpool. 2017 has been better, but I’m a freelance graphic designer as well, and sometimes I’m so swamped that it’s hard to make time to work on More Than Gold Designs.
What would your perfect day look like?
It would revolve around a chilled morning with brunch out, followed by exploring and visiting independent shops.
When you're working on your own, it can be nice to have some background noise. What do you listen to while you're working?
It depends really, sometimes I have Spotify days (I love the Throwback Thursday Spotify playlists!) but most of the time I have a Netflix series (hello, Gilmore Girls!) on in the background.
What’s your favourite Bible verse?
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Thanks so much for chatting with us, Bethany. It’s so great to hear more about you and how you got started with More Than Gold Designs.
We hope you enjoyed reading more about Bethany and her business. If you'd like to browse her products, pop over to her storefront here. If you’d like to ask her anything else, feel free to leave us a comment below - we love hearing from you!
You can find Bethany on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
All product photography and styling by Holly Booth Photography (instagram / facebook / twitter). Portrait of Bethany by Erin Singleton (instagram / facebook).